CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Wednesday took a deeper look at Dirty Lemon, the health-conscious drink owned by Iris Nova, to understand how its business model could help keep down inflation: embrace the honor system.
“If this method catches on, it’s easy to see how our economy can keep growing with hardly any meaningful wage inflation,” the “Mad Money” host said. “Rather than paying their workers more, companies that used to hire plenty are now finding ways to hire fewer people.”
Cramer introduced the private company to viewers earlier this week in an interview with Iris Nova CEO Zak Normandin. Instead of hiring cashiers, Dirty Lemon has a store in New York City’s Tribeca neighborhood, and will soon open a second in the city’s Hudson Yards area, where patrons voluntarily pay more than $10 for lemon-based drinks via text message.
No cashiers? No problem. The company unlocked a way to target millennials and hire fewer people by leveraging digital tools, Cramer said.
“At a certain point, it’s just much cheaper for businesses to automate rather than hire new people,” he said.
Hear more about the concept here
Bankers do not necessarily have to be liked — people just have to like their numbers, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Wednesday.
“The bankers are still regarded as gangsters on Capitol Hill. I just want them to put on a good show when they start reporting earnings in 48 hours,” the “Mad Money” host said. “If they do, all will be forgiven, at least on Wall Street, and their stocks will roar.”
Earlier, the top brass of the biggest U.S. financial institutions appeared before the House Financial Services Committee, where lawmakers grilled the CEOs with questions about the financial crisis a decade ago.
Cramer called it a “travesty” that no one was sent to prison for their roles in lending practices that helped caused the meltdown in 2008. But most of the bankers at Wednesday’s hearing, he pointed out, were not running their respective companies at the time of the crisis.
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Kohl’s CEO Michelle Gass told CNBC that partnering with companies, such as Planet Fitness and Amazon, will be integral to cutting costs and rightsizing its stores in efforts to drive traffic and grow sales.
The department chain, whose locations typically cover more than 80,000 square feet, signed a deal with Planet Fitness last month to convert as much as 25,000 square feet at 10 stores into a gym to double down on its active and wellness initiative.
“[Active and wellness] has doubled over the course of the last four years. It’s now 20% of our business,” Gass told Cramer. “As we look ahead, it’s going to be even more important.”
Kohl’s has plans to expand activewear and wellness products, including golf apparel and Fitbit wearables, by more than 25% in 160 stores. As the gym concept grows, the company expects gymgoers will also walk next door to pick up workout gear, Gass said.
“As we look ahead, we’re committed to stores … We have 1,160 of them, it’s the core of our business,” she said. “But we think there’s opportunity in some cases to make them a little smaller.”
Find out how the department chain is leveraging Amazon, which is seen as a threat to retail, here
Walt Disney fans might be anticipating the release of the latest movie in the Avengers saga later this month, but Cramer can’t wait for the another showing on Thursday: its annual investor day.
The host is waiting to hear what’s in store for the entertainment giant, since its $71 billion acquisition of Twenty-First Century Fox. The host said it could be a huge turning point for the stock.
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Ollie’s Bargain Outlet is one-third of the way to opening 950 locations after opening three Tennessee stores on Wednesday, CEO Mark Butler told CNBC.
The discount retailer is also eyeing new establishments in Oklahoma and Massachusetts, which would expand the chain to 25 states across the country, he said. Ollie’s store count currently stands at 318 with four more locations in the pipeline, according to its website.
“Brick and mortar isn’t dead. Ollie’s is thriving,” Butler said in a one-on-one with Cramer. “Our shopping experience, it’s absolutely un-duplicable online. It just ain’t gonna happen.”
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In Cramer’s lightning round, the “Mad Money” host gives his answers to callers’ stock questions at rapid speed.
Electronic Arts Inc.: “We’re gonna say that that came and went, and we’re not gonna pull the trigger.”
Orbcomm Inc.: “I don’t know that one, but if it’s anything like the company that we hit on very recently when we had Matt Desch on, the Iridium [CEO], well it could be great ’cause we think Iridium is great. So, let’s do some homework before we come back.”
Disclosure: Cramer’s charitable trust owns shares of Kohl’s, Walt Disney, and Amazon.
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